Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday Trivia: Royalty

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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If Prince Charles of England ascends the throne, will he become Charles I, Charles II or Charles III?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Inspire a Generation

2012 is a leap year, which, besides the extra day we get, is awesome thanks to one major event. The Olympics.

But not just any ole Olympics. The Summer Olympics.

I might watch the Winter Olympics when they're on. And I might not. I just don't get as into it as I do the Summer Olympics. Mostly because of the swimming.

I was a swimmer in middle and high school. Actually, my mom started me on a summer YMCA team when I was 8 so I could become a stronger swimmer. When she signed me up, she mistakenly put me in the 9-10 age group thinking my summer birthday meant that was the group I was supposed to be in. 

She was wrong. 

In my very first meet, I had to swim two laps of the pool with the 9-10 year olds instead of the only one lap 8 year olds got to swim. I was not happy when I got out of that pool, but I finished.

I didn't fall in love with swimming that summer. But at the end of the season, the team took a trip to our local water park, which I did love. So when it came time to sign up for the next summer, I did. Pretty much solely for that water park trip.

It wasn't until the summer I turned 13 and attended swim camp that I really fell in love with the sport. Shortly afterward I joined a far more competitive team. My life quickly began to revolve around the pool. During the school year, we had 6 practices a week. During the summer it was 11 practices a week.

Meets were held every 3 weeks or so. And they weren't just a few hours on a Saturday. Smaller meets were Friday night and Saturday and Sunday morning/afternoon. The bigger deal meets (the ones we trained for) were Thursday night, Friday morning (prelims) and evening (finals), Saturday morning (prelims) and evening (finals) and Sunday morning (prelims) and evening (finals).

When you spend that much time in a wet swimsuit, you learn that the fastest, easiest way to pee without trying to get a wet suit back on is to just pull the crotch to one side, take care of business and then cover your lady bits back up. (Consider this my tip for the week.) (You're welcome.)

So when the Olympics start up at the end of July, you'll find me on my couch screaming at the TV just as if I was on the pool deck in London.

USA!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Trivia: Presidents

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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Which U.S. president was known as "the Great Communicator"?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Damsel in Non-Distress

There are many stories that teach lessons to young girls like how women need to be rescued, how a prince charming and wedding are what bring a happily ever after, how love and marriage are easy and how vampires make the best boyfriends.

While these can (sometimes) make for interesting stories, it's not always easy to forget the fairy tales and accept reality. Which is partly why I greatly enjoy movies, TV and books with strong female characters.

Because women can be a rescue-er. Because happiness is the result of a choice, not a wedding. Because love and marriage are hard. And vampires do NOT make the best boyfriends. (Just ask Buffy) (A far better vampire love story) (And a great example of a strong female character kicking ass)

It took me longer than I care to admit to realize happiness and satisfaction with my life does not come from a man but from me. 

To realize that waiting for happiness to come is futile because it is a decision. A choice. One that needs to be made every day. Otherwise life becomes miserable, and you become lonely.

Five years ago, The Year I Got My Groove Back, I learned a lot about myself in my journey to lose weight. One of those lessons being that I could be happy on my own. 

So a couple years later when I was considering moving in with John and marrying him at some point, I thought a lot about him and life with him and life without him. 

I know it's common to say things like "I can't live without [my spouse]." 

But that's not how I felt. I knew I could live without him. But I didn't want to.

And for me. Well, that's how I knew I was ready to make that commitment for a lifetime.

I wasn't, and am still not, a damsel in distress who needed rescuing by her prince.

I don't want to just read stories about strong female characters. I want to be a strong female character who kicks ass next to her prince.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday Trivia: Countries

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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What European country has more than 180,000 lakes and islands?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hump Day Humor: Grannies React to Kim Kardashian Sex Tape

Not safe for work. Not even a little bit.


(hat tip Cary)

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Musicians

Although he was usually on key, Richard Starkey dropped the "key" from his last name. What did he change his first name to?

Ringo (Starr)

Congratulations to Tom for being the first - and only - to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday Trivia: Musicians

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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Although he was usually on key, Richard Starkey dropped the "key" from his last name. What did he change his first name to?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Book Review: A Visit from the Goon Squad

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

The back synopsis of A Visit from the Goon Squad  seems to promise a story that centers around two main characters. And in a way the book does that. But not with the two characters as narrators, with the exception of two chapters. Instead the book hops back and forth through time with each chapter being a separate story told by a different character.

At first the book seems like a collection of short stories instead of a novel. But after a few chapters, you realize that all of the characters and all of their stories are linked. For one you get a better, 360 degree look at the first two characters through the stories of the people whose paths crossed with theirs. 

If you pick up this book expecting a single plot or storyline, you aren't going to get it. What you get instead is a series of creatively told stories that share a similar theme: time and the effects it has on our lives.

Egan did a great job at not only creating all of these characters but also keeping their voices distinct so you truly felt the change from chapter to chapter. They are not always likable. (That's not always the point of a book. In fact sometimes I enjoy a book more when the characters aren't likable.) But the characters are very real. I sometimes got the impression that Egan didn't have to invent the characters as they are real people. It is a difficult thing to do yet she managed to pull it off.

I have a difficult time recommending this book. While I enjoyed it, it is not for everyone.

Next month: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way form or fashion for this review.

Friday, May 4, 2012

May

I was two for three again this month. I actually got my windsurfing rig out of the garage, dusted it off and took it to the lake where I got a little sailing in. Wasn't a lot. But it was definitely more than I have in recent years.

And I've been doing the Bar Method for about 5 weeks now. I LOVE it. It kicks my ass every time, but I feel great. I can totally feel myself getting stronger. I'm looking forward to when I'll actually be able to see the difference, but I think I have a few months to go before that happens.

While I didn't get the three bathroom doors prepped for painting, I did get two prepped. Though admittedly one is the bedroom and not the bathroom door.

Who knew sanding doors would take so much effort? I started out one afternoon thinking I'd knock out all five doors (3 bathroom, 2 bedroom) and only managed to get two done before I lost all energy and motivation for the day. So maybe this was more of partial credit since I did get two doors done.

And as a bonus, we got the cabinet doors hung back up. It looks so much better. If you ignore the ugly counter that we will be replacing.

Before (These aren't the best of pictures so it's kinda hard to tell what color the cabinets used to be. But hopefully you'll be able to tell a difference with the afters.):




After:





So much better right?

Goals for May:

1. Get in another day of sailing
2. Sand the remaining doors and paint all 5.
3. Buy some new plants and get them in pots.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Is that a phone in your purse or are you just happy to see me?

You ever have a day when you accidentally bring a sex toy to work because you forgot it was in your purse until after you got to the office and then the thought of it sitting in your purse under your desk the whole day made you extremely jumpy and nervous so that when someone asks you if you're okay, you blush and giggle while not making eye contact? And then the thought of the possibility of it accidentally turning on while your boss is sitting in your office makes you even more jumpy, and so you don't have to think on your feet should it happen, you make a plan of how you should respond: "Oh, that's my phone ringing." "Isn't that your phone on your desk?" SHIT "Yes, but I meant my back up phone. Because I am very busy and important, I have two phones." Then you make a mental note that you need a better response plan for the days you accidentally bring a sex toy to work, and you wonder if you've taken drugs and forgotten about it because this behavior is totally not like you? And so you spend the whole day scared someone is going to find out your secret, and you really are not looking forward to explaining yourself in that meeting, and it's not until the end of the day when you're walking out that you realize you should have put it in your car once you realized it was in your purse so once again you wonder about whether or not you've taken drugs because normally that's a solution you would have thought of hours earlier?

You ever have a day like that?

No?

Me either.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hump Day Humor: Downton Arby's

If you're not watching Dowton Abbey on PBS, you are missing out. And for those of you who are hopelessly addicted to the show like I am, this parody is hilarious.



ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Flags

What country has the only national flag that is not rectangular or square?

Nepal. Its flag consists of two overlapping right triangles, or pennants, one above the other.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday Trivia: Flags

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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What country has the only national flag that is not rectangular or square?